Blackfeet Nation Bison Reserve
While traveling through Blackfeet Country stop by the Buffalo Viewing Area on Highway 2 between Browning and East Glacier Park, Montana.
Blackfeet Buffalo Horseback Drive (12:04)
by YRc Production, Mountain Spirit Lodge Films
Buffalo were the main staple for the Blackfeet Indians. This animal provided food, clothing and shelter. The Blackfeet
were nomadic people following the buffalo, luring them to the edge of a large cut-bank, driving them over the edge into a valley below of their death. Butchering was done immediately, the hides prepared by tanning.
All parts of the animal were utilized. The meat for food, the hide for lodges and clothing, bones for weapons and utensils, hoofs for glue, hair for decorations, and sinew for sewing. Internal parts were eaten as a
delicacy, brains for tanning, and the head for religious purposes.
One of the saddest chapters of history for the Blackfeet Indians was the exterminiation of the buffalo. It was completely destroyed their lifestyle. With a climatic starvation winter in the year 1883-84, the Blackfeet
lost one-third of the population. According to the 1830 conservation estimates, there were 40 million buffalo grazing the plains of the American west. For 40 years, hunting by both Indians and Whites did not
diminish this number.